Commissioned by Richard Porton and written for (and published by) On Festivals: 03 (Dekalog), edited by Richard Porton, New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. Because of the length of this, I’m running it in two parts, and this is the second part. — J.R.
Apart from New York and Cannes, I can almost count the other film festivals I attended during the 1970s on one hand: San Sebastian in 1972; London in 1974–76 (after moving to London to work for the British Film Institute, as assistant editor of the Monthly Film Bulletin); Edinburgh in 1975 and 1976 (which I covered both years for Sight and Sound); Filmex in Los Angeles in 1977–78 (after I moved from London to San Diego, to teach film at the University of California); the Toronto Festival of Festivals, thanks to David Overbey, in 1978; and Venice, to attend a three-day conference called The Cinema in the 80s, in 1979.
The San Sebastian bash, held back then in July, was by far the glitziest -– an event that incorporated not only a good many midnight banquets at country clubs, but also a trip to Pampelona to attend the bullfight, with Howard Hawks – the festival’s guest of honor, head juror, and the focus of the festival’s retrospective – holding court.… Read more »